Saturday, April 20, 2013

Thailand: An enduring passion - Full Article

Published: 20 Apr 2013
Newspaper section: Muse

Despite having just returned from her most recent competition, the 2013 Endurance Horse Ride in Fontainebleau, France, neither jetlag nor a pre-Songkran workload could fizzle Wipawan Pawitayalarp's exuberant enthusiasm in relaying her experience.

What she thought would be just a warm-up for her horse, Mulawa Angelus, turned into a victory of a kind.

"I had not hoped to win at all because it was such a large-scale competition, with professional riders from all over the world competing. It was also cold, and my horse was not used to that kind of weather," said Wipawan, an award-winning Thai endurance rider.

In the first phase of the ride, she and her horse were off to a good start, being in the top five. They continued to speed through the snowy course at such a rate that she could hear the air whizzing past. On the last 3km of the track, holding third place, another horse overtook them, bumping them down to fourth.

"At the time, I wasn't completely deflated or disappointed, because my intention in this competition was really to just test the water and gain experience. For me, to complete [the race] is to win," she explained.

However, at the last corner, things took a turn when the rider who had passed her took a fall.

"I asked him if he was ok, and when he said he was, I just did my best to complete the race. I ended up winning third prize and got to stand on the podium," she recalled with excitement in her voice...

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